The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has developed capability building courses for trainers and agricultural entrepreneurs to help improve productivity in mango, abaca, cacao and herbal-medicinal products.
"The training for trainers and farmer-entrepreneurs will beef up skills of Filipino farmers-businessmen in ensuring their farms thrive as profit-making businesses, rather than mere source of sustenance," SEARCA said in a statement.
The course is called "Financial Viability and Profitability Analysis of New Technologies and Enterprises under the High Value Crops Development Program."
SEARCA also supported the publication of an investment guide of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research with the same title. BAR launched the investment guide during its Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum last August 30.
"We believe that given the right opportunities, training and innovations, farmers and fishers can be 'agripreneurs,'" DA-BAR Executive Director Nicomedes Eleazar said.
Participants in the courses will also become trainors of agricultural entrepreneurs or support them on how to plan financial viability for businesses after training themselves first.
A higher education center formed part of bonding the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, SEARCA's major thrust is to support training of farm technologists and farm entrepreneurs as aid in agricultural progress toward ASEAN Economic Community.
It is also pushing for harmonization of skills standards of farm technicians in ASEAN through a competency certification in partnership with institutions as the Technology Education and Skills Development Authority.
Those that already completed the program include agriculture technocrats of DA and its attached agencies, state universities and colleges in 16 selected projects funded by DA-BAR, and farm managers.
The topics include subjects studied in business management courses: cost and return analysis, partial budget analysis, break-even analysis and financial cash flow analysis.
SEARCA has supported personnel training for 16 projects of the DA-BAR.: Development of Commercial-Scale Belt-Type Dryer with Combination Far-Infrared and Convection Heating for Rapid Drying of Mango Slices; Conservation, Evaluation, and Commercialization of Batuan (Garcinia binucao) in Region 5 (Masbate and Sorsogon); Lotus Research and Development for Region 3 (Central Luzon); Production Technology Generation for Food and Non-Food Products, Aesthetics, and Medicinal Purposes; Village-level Processing, Technology Development, and Promotion of Katmon (Dillenia philippinensis) Production and Commercialization of Abaca Yarn, Twine and its Derived Products in Region 7 (Central Visayas) Areas; Development and Promotion of Postharvest Equipment for Carrot Processing in BAPTC Commercialization and Marketing of Sweet Potato, Adlay, Soybean and Roselle Products and By-products in Region 10 (Northern Mindanao); Development and Commercialization of Sweet Potato and Potato Products Production and Processing Technologies Development and Commercialization for Organically-Grown Cucumber and Carrots in Bukidnon; Promotion of Organic Production Technologies for Rice and Muscovado Sugar for Smallholder Farmers and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries; Piloting Arabica Coffee Rooted Cuttings as Plant Materials in the Highlands Macadamia Conservation, Propagation, and Commercialization in Luzon; Promotion of Generated Cacao Technologies and Development of New Products towards Improved Livelihood; Promotion and Commercialization of Soya Nuggets and Soya Chunks Insta Ulam Project Development and Commercialization of Tropical Fruit-based Products (Rimas Ice Cream); and Product Improvement and Marketing Plan for Dalanghita Nectar.